Allan Pinkerton's Detective Stories.
THE EXPRESSMAN AND THE DETECTIVE.
Chicago: W. B. Keen, Cooke & Co., 113 and 115 State Street. 1875.
Copyright, W. B. Keen, Cooke & Co., A. D. 1874.
The Lakeside Press.
During the greater portion of a very busy life, I have been actively engaged in the profession of a Detective, and hence have been brought in contact with many men, and have been an interested participant in many exciting occurrences.
The narration of some of the most interesting of these events, happening in connection with my professional labors, is the realization of a pleasure I have long anticipated, and is the fulfillment of promises repeatedly made to numerous friends in by gone days.
"THE EXPRESSMAN AND THE DETECTIVE,"
and the other works announced by my publishers, are all true stories, transcribed from the Records in my offices. If there be any incidental embellishment, it is so slight that the actors in these scenes from the drama of life would never themselves detect it; and if the incidents seem to the reader at all marvelous or improbable, I can but remind him, in the words of the old adage, that "Truth is stranger than fiction."
ALLAN PINKERTON. CHICAGO, October, 1874.
The present Volume is the first of a series of Mr. Allan Pinkerton's thrilling and beautifully written
all true to life—founded upon incidents in the experience of the great chief of all detectives.
At intervals the following will appear:
"CLAUDE MELNOTTE AS A DETECTIVE."
"THE TWO SISTERS AND THE AVENGER."
"THE FRENCHMAN AND THE BILLS OF EXCHANGE."
"THE MURDERER AND THE FORTUNE TELLER."
"THE MODEL TOWN AND ITS DETECTIVE."
That these Volumes will meet with a cordial reception we have no doubt.
W. B. KEEN, COOKE & CO.
I. Frontispiece—THE ROBBER.
II. At this inopportune moment Simon gave way to his oars, and left the poor deputy hanging in the air. pp. 40
III. "Yah! yah! yah!" roared both the darkies; "you don't know Mother Binks! Why, she keeps the finest gals on all the riber." page 69
IV. As he gaily entered the gallery, twirling his handsome cane, he was welcomed by a pleasant smile from a young lady, an octoroon. page 73
V. Cox and his friends joined in having a good time at the tinker's expense, and pronounced him "the prince of good fellows." page 86
VI. Franklin gave his orders, and the delicious bivalves were soon smoking before them. * * * He kept the alderman in such roars of laughter that he could scarcely swallow his oysters. page 125
VII. "You are my prisoner!" said he. "Nathan Maroney, I demand that you immediately deliver to me fifty thousand dollars, the property of the Adams' Express Co." page 131
VIII. On and on he plunged through the darkness, following the sound of the hoofs and wheels. At times he felt that he must give up and drop by the way; but he forced the feeling back and plunged on with the determination of winning. page 145
IX. "Wal, stranger, whar yar bound?" was his first salutation. Roch looked at him in a bewildered way and then said, "Nichts verstehe!" page 158
X. Mrs. Maroney looked him full in the face with flashing eyes, clenched her little hand, and in a voice hoarse from passion, exclaimed: "What do you want here, you scoundrel?" page 190
XI. In a second, Mrs. Maroney grasped a pitcher and smashed it over Josh.'s skull. page 222
XII. Raising the dead animal by its caudal appendage, he angrily exclaimed, "That's my dog!" page 226
XIII. As he stood outside of the counter, I was enabled to call off all the packages on the way-bill, but dropped the four containing the forty thousand dollars under the counter. page 237
XIV. The peddler lifted his satchel into the buggy; the Madam hurriedly emptied it of its contents, and holding it open jammed the bundle of money into it, and handed it back to the peddler. page 268
THE EXPRESSMAN AND THE DETECTIVE.
Montgomery, Alabama, is beautifully situated on the Alabama river, near the centre of the State. Its situation at the head of navigation, on the Alabama river, its connection by rail with important points, and the rich agricultural country with which it is surrounded, make it a great commercial centre, and the second city in the State as regards wealth and population. It is the capital, and consequently learned men and great politicians flock to it, giving it a society of the highest rank, and making it the social centre of the State.
From 1858 to 1860, the time of which I treat in the present work, the South was in a most prosperous condition. "Cotton was king," and millions of dollars were poured into the country for its purchase, and a fair share of this money found its way to Montgomery.
When the Alabama planters had gathered their crops of cotton, tobacco, rice, etc., they sent them to Montgomery to be sold, and placed the proceeds on deposit in its banks. During their busy season, while overseeing the labor of their slaves, they were almost entirely debarred from the society of any but their own families; but when the crops were gathered they went with their families to Montgomery, where they gave themselves up to enjoyment, spending their money in a most lavish manner.
There were several good hotels in the city and they were always filled to overflowing with the wealth and beauty of the South.
The Adams Express Company had a monopoly of the express business of the South, and had established its agencies at all points with which there was communication by rail, steam or stage. They handled all the money sent to the South for the purchase of produce, or remitted to the North in payment of merchandise. Moreover, as they did all the express business for the banks, besides moving an immense amount of freight, it is evident that their business was enormous.
At all points of importance, where there were diverging routes of communication, the company had established principal agencies, at which all through freight and the money pouches were delivered by the messengers. The agents at these points were selected with the greatest care, and were always considered men above reproach. Montgomery being a great centre of trade was made the western terminus of one of the express routes, Atlanta being the eastern. The messengers who had charge of the express matter between these two points were each provided with a safe and with a pouch. The latter was to contain only such packages as were to go over the whole route, consisting of money or other valuables. The messenger was not furnished with a key to the pouch, but it was handed to him locked by the agent at one end of the route to be delivered in the same condition to the agent at the other end.
The safe was intended for way packages, and of it the messenger of course had a key. The pouch was carried in the safe, each being protected by a lock of peculiar construction.
The Montgomery office in 1858, and for some years previous, had been in charge of Nathan Maroney, and he had made himself one of the most popular agents in the company's employ.
He was married, and with his wife and one daughter, had pleasant quarters at the Exchange Hotel, one of the best houses in the city. He possessed all the qualifications which make a popular man. He had a genial, hearty manner, which endeared him to the open, hospitable inhabitants of Montgomery, so that he was "hail fellow, well met," with most of its populace. He possessed great executive ability and hence managed the affairs of his office in a very satisfactory manner. The promptness with which he discharged his duties had won for him the well-merited esteem of the officers of the company, and he was in a fair way of attaining a still higher position. His greatest weakness—if it may be so called—was a love for fast horses, which often threw him into the company of betting men.
On the morning of the twenty-sixth of April, 1858, the messenger from Atlanta arrived in Montgomery, placed his safe in the office as usual, and when Maroney came in, turned over to him the through pouch.
Maroney unlocked the pouch and compared it with the way-bill, when he discovered a package of four thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars for a party in Montgomery which was not down on the way-bill. About a week after this occurrence, advice was received that a package containing ten thousand dollars in bills of the Planters' and Mechanics' Bank of Charleston, S. C., had been sent to Columbus, Ga., via the Adams Express, but the person to whom it was directed had not received it. Inquiries were at once instituted, when it was discovered that it had been missent, and forwarded to Atlanta, instead of Macon. At Atlanta it was recollected that this package, together with one for Montgomery, for four thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars, had been received on Sunday, the twenty-fifth of April, and had been sent on to Montgomery, whence the Columbus package could be forwarded the next day. Here all trace of the missing package was lost. Maroney stated positively that he had not received it, and the messenger was equally positive that the pouch had been delivered to Maroney in the same order in which he received it from the Atlanta agent.
The officers of the company were completely at a loss. It was discovered beyond a doubt that the package had been sent from Atlanta. The messenger who received it bore an excellent character, and the company could not believe him guilty of the theft. The lock of the pouch was examined and found in perfect order, so that it evidently had not been tampered with. The messenger was positive that he had not left the safe open when he went out of the car, and there was no sign of the lock's having been forced.
The more the case was investigated, the more directly did suspicion point to Maroney, but as his integrity had always been unquestioned, no one now was willing to admit the possibility of his guilt. However, as no decided action in the matter could be taken, it was determined to say nothing, but to have the movements of Maroney and other suspected parties closely watched.
For this purpose various detectives were employed; one a local detective of Montgomery, named McGibony; others from New Orleans, Philadelphia, Mobile, and New York. After a long investigation these parties had to give up the case as hopeless, all concluding that Maroney was an innocent man. Among the detectives, however was one from New York, Robert Boyer, by name, an old and favorite officer of Mr. Matsell when he was chief of the New York police. He had made a long and tedious examination and finding nothing definite as to what had become of the money, had turned his attention to discovering the antecedents of Maroney, but found nothing positively suspicious in his life previous to his entering the employ of the company. He discovered that Maroney was the son of a physician, and that he was born in the town of Rome, Ga.
Here I would remark that the number of titled men one meets in the South is astonishing. Every man, if he is not a doctor, a lawyer, or a clergyman, has some military title—nothing lower than captain being admissible. Of these self-imposed titles they are very jealous, and woe be to the man who neglects to address them in the proper form. Captain is the general title, and is applied indiscriminately to the captain of a steamer, or to the deck hand on his vessel.
Maroney remained in Rome until he became a young man, when he emigrated to Texas. On the breaking out of the Mexican war he joined a company of Texan Rangers, and distinguished himself in a number of battles. At the close of the war he settled in Montgomery, in the year 1851, or 1852, and was employed by Hampton & Co., owners of a line of stages, to act as their agent. On leaving this position, he was made treasurer of Johnson & May's circus, remaining with the company until it was disbanded in consequence of the pecuniary difficulties of the proprietors—caused, it was alleged, through Maroney's embezzlement of the funds, though this allegation proved false, and he remained for many years on terms of intimacy with one of the partners, a resident of Montgomery. When the company disbanded he obtained a situation as conductor on a railroad in Tennessee, and was afterwards made Assistant Superintendent, which position he resigned to take the agency of the Adams Express Company, in Montgomery. His whole life seemed spotless up to the time of the mysterious disappearance of the ten thousand dollars.
In the fall of the year, Maroney obtained leave of absence, and made a trip to the North, visiting the principal cities of the East, and also of the Northwest. He was followed on this trip, but nothing was discovered, with the single exception that his associates were not always such as were desirable in an employe, to whose keeping very heavy interests were from time to time necessarily committed. He was lost sight of at Richmond, Va., for a few days, and was supposed by the man who was following him, to have passed the time in Charleston.
The company now gave up all hope of recovering the money; but as Maroney's habits were expensive, and they had lost, somewhat, their confidence in him, they determined to remove him and place some less objectionable person in his place.
Maroney's passion for fine horses has already been alluded to. It was stated about this time that he owned several fast horses; among others, "Yankee Mary," a horse for which he was said to have paid two thousand five hundred dollars; but as he had brought seven thousand five hundred dollars with him when he entered the employ of the company, this could not be considered a suspicious circumstance.
It having been determined to remove Maroney, the Vice-President of the company wrote to the Superintendent of the Southern Division of the steps he wished taken. The Superintendent of the Southern Division visited Montgomery on the twentieth of January, 1859, but was anticipated in the matter of carrying out his instructions, by Maroney's tendering his resignation. The resignation was accepted, but the superintendent requested him to continue in charge of the office until his successor should arrive.
This he consented to do.
Previous to Maroney's trip to the North, Mr. Boyer held a consultation with the Vice-President and General Superintendent of the company. He freely admitted his inability to fathom the mystery surrounding the loss of the money, and thought the officers of the company did Maroney a great injustice in supposing him guilty of the theft. He said he knew of only one man who could bring out the robbery, and he was living in Chicago.
Pinkerton was the name of the man he referred to. He had established an agency in Chicago, and was doing a large business. He (Boyer) had every confidence in his integrity and ability, which was more than he could say of the majority of detectives, and recommended the Vice-President to have him come down and look into the case.
This ended the case for most of the detectives. One by one they had gone away, and nothing had been developed by them. The Vice-President, still anxious to see if anything could be done, wrote a long and full statement of the robbery and sent it to me, with the request that I would give my opinion on it.
I was much surprised when I received the letter, as I had not the slightest idea who the Vice-President was, and knew very little about the Adams Express, as, at that time, they had no office in the West.
I, however, sat down and read it over very carefully, and, on finishing it, determined to make a point in the case if I possibly could. I reviewed the whole of the Vice-President's letter, debating every circumstance connected with the robbery, and finally ended my consideration of the subject with the firm conviction that the robbery had been committed either by the agent, Maroney, or by the messenger, and I was rather inclined to give the blame to Maroney.
The letter was a very long one, but one of which I have always been proud. Having formed my opinion, I wrote to the Vice-President, explained to him the ground on which I based my conclusions, and recommended that they keep Maroney in their employ, and have a strict watch maintained over his actions.
After sending my letter, I could do nothing until the Vice-President replied, which I expected he would do in a few days; but I heard nothing more of the affair for a long time, and had almost entirely forgotten it, when I received a telegraphic dispatch from him, sent from Montgomery, and worded about as follows:
"ALLAN PINKERTON: Can you send me a man—half horse and half alligator? I have got 'bit' once more! When can you send him?"
The dispatch came late Saturday night, and I retired to my private office to think the matter over. The dispatch gave me no information from which I could draw any conclusions. No mention was made of how the robbery was committed, or of the amount stolen. I had not received any further information of the ten thousand dollar robbery. How had they settled that? It was hard to decide what kind of a man to send! I wanted to send the very best, and would gladly go myself, but did not know whether the robbery was important enough to demand my personal attention.
I did not know what kind of men the officers of the company were, or whether they would be willing to reward a person properly for his exertions in their behalf.
At that time I had no office in New York, and knew nothing of the ramifications of the company. Besides, I did not know how I would be received in the South. I had held my anti-slavery principles too long to give them up. They had been bred in my bones, and it was impossible to eradicate them. I was always stubborn, and in any circumstances would never abandon principles I had once adopted.
Slavery was in full blossom, and an anti-slavery man could do nothing in the South. As I had always been a man somewhat after the John Brown stamp, aiding slaves to escape, or keeping them employed, and running them into Canada when in danger, I did not think it would do for me to make a trip to Montgomery.
I did not know what steps had already been taken in the case, or whether the loss was a heavy one. From the Vice-President's saying he wanted a man "half horse, half alligator," I supposed he wanted a man who could at least affiliate readily with the inhabitants of the South.
But what class was he to mix with? Did he want a man to mix with the rough element, or to pass among gentlemen? I could select from my force any class of man he could wish. But what did he wish?
I was unaware of who had recommended me to the Vice-President, as at that time I had not been informed that my old friend Boyer had spoken so well of me. What answer should I make to the dispatch? It must be answered immediately!
These thoughts followed each other in rapid succession as I held the dispatch before me.
I finally settled on Porter as the proper man to send, and immediately telegraphed the Vice-President, informing him that Porter would start for Montgomery by the first train. I then sent for Porter and gave him what few instructions I could. I told him the little I knew of the case, and that I should have to rely greatly on his tact and discretion.
Up to that time I had never done any business for the Adams Express, and as their business was well worth having, I was determined to win.
He was to go to Montgomery and get thoroughly acquainted with the town and its surroundings; and as my suspicions had become aroused as to the integrity of the agent, Maroney, he was to form his acquaintance, and frequent the saloons and livery stables of the town, the Vice-President's letter having made me aware of Maroney's inclination for fast horses. He was to keep his own counsel, and, above all things, not let it become known that he was from the North, but to hail from Richmond, Va., thus securing for himself a good footing with the inhabitants. He was also to dress in the Southern style; to supply me with full reports describing the town and its surroundings, the manners and customs of its people, all he saw or heard about Maroney, the messengers and other employes of the company; whether Maroney was married, and, if so, any suspicious circumstances in regard to his wife as well as himself—in fact, to keep me fully informed of all that occurred. I should have to rely on his discretion until his reports were received; but then I could direct him how to act. I also instructed him to obey all orders from the Vice-President, and to be as obliging as possible.
Having given him his instructions, I started him off on the first train, giving him a letter of introduction to the Vice-President. On Porter's arriving in Montgomery he sent me particulars of the case, from which I learned that while Maroney was temporarily filling the position of agent, among other packages sent to the Montgomery office, on the twenty-seventh of January, 1859, were four containing, in the aggregate, forty thousand dollars, of which one, of two thousand five hundred dollars, was to be sent to Charleston, S. C., and the other three, of thirty thousand, five thousand, and two thousand five hundred respectively, were intended for Augusta. These were receipted for by Maroney, and placed in the vault to be sent off the next day. On the twenty-eighth the pouch was given to the messenger, Mr. Chase, and by him taken to Atlanta. When the pouch was opened, it was found that none of these packages were in it, although they were entered on the way-bill which accompanied the pouch, and were duly checked off. The poor messenger was thunder-struck, and for a time acted like an idiot, plunging his hand into the vacant pouch over and over again, and staring vacantly at the way-bill. The Assistant Superintendent of the Southern Division was in the Atlanta office when the loss was discovered, and at once telegraphed to Maroney for an explanation. Receiving no reply before the train started for Montgomery, he got aboard and went directly there. On his arrival he went to the office and saw Maroney, who said he knew nothing at all of the matter. He had delivered the packages to the messenger, had his receipt for them, and of course could not be expected to keep track of them when out of his possession.
Before Mr. Hall, the route agent, left Atlanta he had examined the pouch carefully, but could find no marks of its having been tampered with. He had immediately telegraphed to another officer of the company, who was at Augusta, and advised him of what had happened. The evening after the discovery of the loss the pouch was brought back by the messenger from Atlanta, who delivered it to Maroney.
Maroney took out the packages, compared them with the way-bill, and, finding them all right, he threw down the pouch and placed the packages in the vault.
In a few moments he came out, and going over to where Mr. Hall was standing, near where he had laid down the pouch, he picked it up and proceeded to examine it. He suddenly exclaimed, "Why, it's cut!" and handed it over to Mr. Hall. Mr. Hall, on examination, found two cuts at right angles to each other, made in the side of the pouch and under the pocket which is fastened on the outside, to contain the way-bill.
On Sunday the General Superintendent arrived in Montgomery, when a strict investigation was made, but nothing definite was discovered, and the affair seemed surrounded by an impenetrable veil of mystery. It was, however, discovered that on the day the missing packages were claimed to have been sent away, there were several rather unusual incidents in the conduct of Maroney.
After consultation with Mr. Hall and others, the General Superintendent determined that the affair should not be allowed to rest, as was the ten thousand dollar robbery, and had Maroney arrested, charged with stealing the forty thousand dollars.
The robbery of so large an amount caused great excitement in Montgomery. The legislature was in session, and the city was crowded with senators, representatives and visitors. Everywhere, on the streets, in the saloons, in private families, and at the hotels, the great robbery of the Express Company was the universal topic of conversation. Maroney had become such a favorite that nearly all the citizens sympathized with him, and in unmeasured terms censured the company for having him arrested. They claimed that it was another instance of the persecution of a poor man by a powerful corporation, to cover the carelessness of those high in authority, and thus turn the blame on some innocent person.
Maroney was taken before Justice Holtzclaw, and gave the bail which was required—forty thousand dollars—for his appearance for examination a few days later; prominent citizens of the town actually vieing with one another for an opportunity to sign his bail-bond.
At the examination the Company presented such a weak case that the bail was reduced to four thousand dollars, and Maroney was bound over in that amount to appear for trial at the next session of the circuit court, to be held in June. The evidence was such that there was little prospect of his conviction on the charge unless the company could procure additional evidence by the time the trial was to come off.
It was the desire of the company to make such inquiries, and generally pursue such a course as would demonstrate the guilt or the possible innocence of the accused. It was absolutely necessary for their own preservation to show that depredations upon them could not be committed with impunity. They offered a reward of ten thousand dollars for the recovery of the money, promptly made good the loss of the parties who had entrusted the several amounts to their charge, and looked around to select such persons to assist them as would be most likely to secure success. The amount was large enough to warrant the expenditure of a considerable sum in its recovery, and the beneficial influence following the conviction of the guilty party would be ample return for any outlay securing that object. The General Superintendent therefore telegraphed to me, as before related, requesting me to send a man to work up the case.
Mr. Porter had a very rough journey to Montgomery, and was delayed some days on the road. It was in the depth of winter, and in the North the roads were blockaded with snow, while in the South there was constant rain. The rivers were flooded, carrying away the bridges and washing out the embankments of the railroads, very much impeding travel.
On his arrival in Montgomery he saw the General Superintendent and presented his letter. He received from him the particulars of the forty thousand dollar robbery, and immediately reported them to me.
The General Superintendent directed him to watch—"shadow" as we call it—the movements of Maroney, find out who were his companions, and what saloons he frequented.
Porter executed his duties faithfully, and reported to me that Montgomery was decidedly a fast town; that the Exchange Hotel, where Maroney boarded, was kept by Mr. Floyd, former proprietor of the Briggs House, Chicago, and, although not the leading house of the town, was very much liked, as it was well conducted.
From the meagre reports I had received I found I had to cope with no ordinary man, but one who was very popular, while I was a poor nameless individual, with a profession which most people were inclined to look down upon with contempt. I however did not flinch from the undertaking, but wrote to Porter to do all he could, and at the same time wrote to the General Superintendent, suggesting the propriety of sending another man, who should keep in the background and "spot" Maroney and his wife, or their friends, so that if any one of them should leave town he could follow him, leaving Porter in Montgomery, to keep track of the parties there.
There were, of course, a number of suspicious characters in a town of the size of Montgomery, and it was necessary to keep watch of many of them.
Maroney frequented a saloon kept by a man whom I will call Patterson. Patterson's saloon was the fashionable drinking resort of Montgomery, and was frequented by all the fast men in town. Although outwardly a very quiet, respectable place, inwardly, as Porter found, it was far from reputable. Up stairs were private rooms, in which gentlemen met to have a quiet game of poker; while down stairs could be found the greenhorn, just "roped in," and being swindled, at three card monte. There were, also, rooms where the "young bloods" of the town—as well as the old—could meet ladies of easy virtue. It was frequented by fast men from New Orleans, Mobile, and other places, who were continually arriving and departing.
I advised the General Superintendent that it would be best to have Porter get in with the "bloods" of the town, make himself acquainted with any ladies Maroney or his wife might be familiar with, and adopt generally the character of a fast man.
As soon as the General Superintendent received my letter he telegraphed to me to send the second man, and also requested me to meet him, at a certain date, in New York.
I now glanced over my force to see who was the best person to select for a "shadow". Porter had been promoted by me to be a sort of "roper".
Most people may suppose that nearly any one can perform the duties of a "shadow", and that it is the easiest thing in the world to follow up a man; but such is not the case. A "shadow" has a most difficult position to maintain. It will not do to follow a person on the opposite side of the street, or close behind him, and when he stops to speak to a friend stop also; or if a person goes into a saloon, or store, pop in after him, stand staring till he goes out, and then follow him again. Of course such a "shadow" would be detected in fifteen minutes. Such are not the actions of the real "shadow", or, at least, of the "shadow" furnished by my establishment.
I had just the man for the place, in Mr. Roch, who could follow a person for any length of time, and never be discovered.
Having settled on Roch as the proper man for the position, I summoned him to my private office. Roch was a German. He was about forty-five years old, of spare appearance and rather sallow or tanned complexion. His nose was long, thin and peaked, eyes clear but heavy looking, and hair dark. He was slightly bald, and though he stooped a little, was five feet ten inches in height. He had been in my employ for many years, and I knew him thoroughly, and could trust him.
I informed him of the duties he was to perform, and gave him minute instructions how he was to act. He was to keep out of sight as much as possible in Montgomery. Porter would manage to see him on his arrival, unknown to any one there, and would point out to him Maroney and his wife, and the messenger, Chase, who boarded at the Exchange; also Patterson, the saloon keeper, and all suspected parties. He was not to make himself known to Floyd, of the Exchange, or to McGibony, the local detective. I had also given Porter similar instructions. I suggested to him the propriety of lodging at some low boarding house where liquor was sold.
He was to keep me fully posted by letter of the movements of all suspected parties, and if any of them left town to follow them and immediately inform me by telegraph who they were and where they were going, so that I could fill his place in Montgomery.
Having given him his instructions, I selected for his disguise a German dress. This I readily procured from my extensive wardrobe, which I keep well supplied by frequent attendance at sales of old articles.
When he had rigged himself up in his long German coat, his German cap with the peak behind, and a most approved pair of emigrant boots, he presented himself to me with his long German pipe in his mouth, and I must say I was much pleased with his disguise, in which his own mother would not have recognized him. He was as fine a specimen of a Dutchman as could be found.
Having thoroughly impressed on his mind the importance of the case and my determination to win the esteem of the company by ferreting out the thief, if possible, I started him for Montgomery, where he arrived in due time.
At the date agreed upon I went to New York to meet the General Superintendent. I had never met the gentlemen of the company and I was a little puzzled how to act with them.
I met the Vice-President at the express office, in such a manner that none of the employes were the wiser as to my profession or business, and he made an appointment to meet me at the Astor House in the afternoon. At the Astor House he introduced me to the President, the General Superintendent of the company, and we immediately proceeded to business.
They gave me all the particulars of the case they could, though they were not much fuller than those I had already received from Porter's reports. They reviewed the life of Maroney, as already related, up to the time he became their agent, stating that he was married, although his marriage seemed somewhat "mixed".
As far as they could find out, Mrs. Maroney was a widow, with one daughter, Flora Irvin, who was about seven or eight years old. Mrs. Maroney was from a very respectable family, now living in Philadelphia or its environs. She was reported to have run away from home with a roue, whose acquaintance she had formed, but who soon deserted her. Afterwards she led the life of a fast woman at Charleston, New Orleans, Augusta, Ga., and Mobile, at which latter place she met Maroney, and was supposed to have been married to him.
After Maroney was appointed agent in Montgomery he brought her with him, took a suite of rooms at the Exchange, and introduced her as his wife.
On account of these circumstances the General Superintendent did not wish to meet her, and, when in Montgomery, always took rooms at another hotel.
The Vice-President said he had nearly come to the conclusion that Maroney was not guilty of the ten thousand dollar robbery; but when my letter reached him, with my comments on the robbery, he became convinced that he was the guilty party.
He was strengthened in this opinion by the actions of Maroney while on his Northern tour, and by the fact that immediately on his return the fast mare "Yankee Mary" made her appearance in Montgomery and that Maroney backed her heavily. It was not known that he was her owner, it being generally reported that Patterson and other fast men were her proprietors.
This was all the Vice-President and General Superintendent had been able to discover while South, and they were aware that I had very little ground on which to work.
I listened to all they had to say on the subject and took full memoranda of the facts. I then stated that although Maroney had evidently planned and carried out the robbery with such consummate ability that he had not left the slightest clue by which he could be detected, still, if they would only give me plenty of time, I would bring the robbery home to him.
I maintained, as a cardinal principle, that it is impossible for the human mind to retain a secret. All history proves that no one can hug a secret to his breast and live. Everyone must have a vent for his feelings. It is impossible to keep them always penned up.
This is especially noticeable in persons who have committed criminal acts. They always find it necessary to select some one in whom they can confide and to whom they can unburden themselves.
We often find that persons who have committed grave offenses will fly to the moors, or to the prairies, or to the vast solitudes of almost impenetrable forests, and there give vent to their feelings. I instanced the case of Eugene Aram, who took up his abode on the bleak and solitary moor, and, removed from the society of his fellow-men, tried to maintain his secret by devoting himself to astronomical observations and musings with nature, but who, nevertheless, felt compelled to relieve his overburdened mind by muttering to himself details of the murder while taking his long and dreary walks on the moor.
If Maroney had committed the robbery and no one knew it but himself, I would demonstrate the truth of my theory by proving that he would eventually seek some one in whom he thought he could confide and to whom he would entrust the secret.
My plan was to supply him with a confidant. It would take time to execute such a plan, but if they would have patience all would be well. I would go to Montgomery and become familiar with the town. I was unknown there and should remain so, only taking a letter to their legal advisers, Watts, Judd & Jackson, whom I supposed would cheerfully give me all the information in their power. I also informed them that it would be necessary to detail more detectives to work up the case.
I found the officers of the company genial, pleasant men, possessed of great executive ability and untiring energy, and felt that my duties would be doubly agreeable by being in the interests of such men.
They ended the interview by authorizing me to employ what men I thought proper; stating that they had full confidence in me, and that they thought I would be enabled to unearth the guilty parties ere long. They further authorized me to use my own judgment in all things; but expected me to keep them fully informed of what was going on.
I started for Montgomery the same day, but was as unfortunate in meeting with delay as were my detectives. The rivers were filled with floating ice and I was ice-bound in the Potomac for over thirty hours. I was obliged to go back to Alexandria, where I took the train and proceeded, via West Point and Atlanta, to Montgomery. On the journey I amused myself reading Martin Chuzzlewit, which I took good care to throw away on the road, as its cuts at slavery made it unpopular in the South. At the various stations planters got aboard, sometimes conveying their slaves from point to point, sometimes travelling with their families to neighboring cities. I did not converse with them, as I was not sure of my ability to refrain from divulging my abolition sentiments. On my arrival in Montgomery I took up my quarters at the Exchange and impressed upon Mr. Floyd the necessity of keeping my presence a secret. He had no idea that I was after Maroney, but supposed I was merely on a visit to the South.
I took no notice of Maroney, but managed to see Porter and Roch privately. They informed me that they had discovered little or nothing. Maroney kept everything to himself. He and his wife went out occasionally. He frequented Patterson's, sometimes going into the card rooms, drove out with a fast horse, and passed many hours in his counsel's office. This was all Porter knew.
Roch was to do nothing but "spot" the suspected parties and follow any one of them who might leave town. He was to be a Dutchman, and he acted the character to perfection. He could be seen sitting outside of his boarding-house with his pipe in his mouth, and he apparently did nothing but puff, puff, puff all day long. There was a saloon in town where lager was sold and he could, occasionally, be found here sipping his lager; but although apparently a stupid, phlegmatic man, taking no notice of what was going on around him, he drank in, with his lager, every word that was said.
I found that Mrs. Maroney was a very smart woman, indeed, and that it would be necessary to keep a strict watch over her. I therefore informed the Vice-President that I would send down another detective especially to shadow her, as she might leave at any moment for the North and take the forty thousand dollars with her.
I had no objections to her taking the money to the North. On the contrary, I preferred she should do so, as I would much rather carry on the fight on Northern soil than in the South.
I found Messrs. Watts, Judd & Jackson, the company's lawyers, were excellent men, clear-headed and accommodating. They gladly furnished me with what little information they possessed.
Before I left Montgomery on my return to the North, I became acquainted with the local detective, McGibony, without letting him know who I was. In accordance with a plan which I always carry out, of watching the actions of those around me, I kept my eye on him, and found that he was quite "thick" with Maroney. He boarded at the Exchange, drank with Maroney in saloons, and even passed with him into the card-room at Patterson's.
At this time McGibony had in his charge a distinguished prisoner, being no less a personage than the old planter whom Johnson H. Hooper so graphically described as "Simon Suggs;" by which name I will continue to call him.
Suggs had been arrested for the commission of a series of misdemeanors, but, as he was a great favorite, he was allowed the freedom of the city, and was joyfully welcomed at the hotels and saloons.
Simon was about fifty-six years old, the dryest kind of a wit, and extremely fond of his bitters. He lived about forty miles out from Montgomery, on the Coosa river, but about a week prior to the time I saw him, had come to Montgomery to see his friends. Simon's morality was not of the highest order, and the first place he visited was Patterson's saloon. Here he met a few congenial spirits, took several drinks with them, and then, being "flush,"—a very unusual thing for him—he proceeded to "buck the tiger." Like too many others, he bucked too long, and soon found himself penniless. Not to be outdone, however, he rushed out and borrowed one hundred dollars from a friend, promising to return it the first thing in the morning. With this money he returned to the unequal contest, but before long was again strapped.
In the morning, as he was walking along the street, in a very penitential mood, he was accosted by his friend, who demanded of him the one hundred dollars he had borrowed. Simon put on a very important air, and in a tone of confidence which he was far from feeling, assured him he should have the money before he left town.
As Simon strolled along, puzzling his brain as to how he could raise the necessary funds to pay off his friend, he saw the tall, ungainly form of a backwoods planter shuffling down the street towards him.
The planter was dressed in a suit of butternut, which had become very much shrunken, from exposure to all kinds of weather. His coat sleeves did not reach far below his elbows, and there was a considerable space between the bottom of his breeches and the top of his shoes. He was as "thin as a rail," and if he stood upright would have been very tall, but he was bent nearly double. He had a slouched hat on, which partly concealed his long, lantern-jawed visage, while his shaggy, uncombed hair fell to his shoulders, and gave one a feeling that it contained many an inhabitant, like that which caused Burns to write those famous lines containing the passage:
"Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!"
As he came down the street he stopped occasionally and gawked around.
Simon was always ready for fun, and determined to see what the planter was up to. Accordingly, as they met, Simon said, "Good mornin'!"
"Good mornin'!" replied the gawky.
"Have yer lost summat?" asked Simon.
"Wal, no, stranger, but I wants to git some money changed, and I'll be durned if I can diskiver a bank in this yar village."
"Bin sellin' niggers, eh?"
"You're out thar," replied the planter. "I've bin sellin' cotton."
"I'm jist the man to help yer! I'm gwine to my bank. Gin me yer money, and come along with me and I'll change it for yer!"
The gawky was much pleased at Simon's kind attention, and remarking that "he reckoned he was the squarest man he had met," he turned over his money—some four hundred dollars—to Simon, and they started off together to get it changed.
On the road Simon stepped into a saloon with the planter, called up all the inmates to take a drink, and telling the planter he would be back with the money in a few minutes, started off.
Fifteen minutes passed away. The planter took several drinks, and began to think his friend was a long time in getting the money changed, but supposed he must be detained at the bank. At the end of half an hour he began to grow decidedly uneasy, but still Simon did not come. At the expiration of an hour he was furious, and if Simon had fallen into his hands at that time, he would have doubtless been made mince meat of unceremoniously.
Simon, on leaving the saloon, had gone to his friend and, out of the poor planter's funds, had paid him the hundred dollars he owed him, and, with the three hundred dollars in his pocket, started for Patterson's.
He proceeded to "buck the tiger," and soon lost nearly all of it. To see if his luck would not change, he gave up the game, and started at "roulette." Here he steadily won, and soon had over seven hundred dollars in his possession. He was now all excitement, and jumped with many a "whoop-la" around the table, to the great amusement of the spectators. He was about to give up play, but they urged him on, saying he had a run of luck, and should not give up till he broke the bank. Thus encouraged, he played for heavy stakes, and was soon completely "cleaned out," and left Patterson's without a cent.
He went to a friend and borrowed twenty-five dollars to help him out of town. He was considered good for a small short loan; and going to his hotel, he paid his bill, and mounting his dilapidated steed, started for his home, forty miles distant, at as great a speed as he could get out of his poor "Rosinante." In the South, men, women and children, always make short journeys on horseback. Simon travelled for two hours, when he reached the Coosa river, about fifteen miles from Montgomery. At this point lived a wealthy widow, with whom he was well acquainted, and here he determined to pass the night. He was joyfully welcomed by the widow, who ordered one of her negroes to put up his horse and conducted him into the house. She had a good supper prepared, Simon ate a hearty meal, spent a few delightful hours in the widow's company, and was then shown to his room. He was soon in the arms of Morpheus, and arose in the morning as gay as a lark. Throwing open the casement, he let in the fresh morning breeze and took in at a glance the rich Southern landscape. Immediately below him, and sloping in well kept terraces to the banks of the Coosa, was a trim garden, filled with flowers, among which, in fine bloom, were numerous varieties of the rose. The sluggish waters of the Coosa flowed without a ripple between its well wooded banks, the trees on opposite sides often interlocking their branches. Beyond the river was a wilderness of forest; the slaves were going to their labor in the cotton fields, singing and chatting gaily like a party of children. It was indeed a beautiful scene, and who could more thoroughly appreciate the beautiful than Simon? Hurriedly dressing himself, he went to the breakfast room, where he found waiting for him the buxom widow, dressed in a loose morning robe, admirably adapted to display the charms of her figure.
After a delicious repast of coffee and fruit the widow proposed that as it was such a lovely morning they take a boat-ride on the river. Simon willingly acquiesced, and the widow, after ordering a well filled lunch-basket to be placed in the boat, not forgetting a "little brown jug" for Simon, took his arm, and tripping gaily down to the river, embarked. Simon pulled strongly at the oars until a bend of the river hid them from view of the plantation, when, taking in the oars, he seated himself by the widow, and placing an oar at the stern to steer with, they glided down the river. Simon was married, but was a firm believer in the theory advanced by Moore, that
—"when far from the lips we love, We've but to make love to the lips we are near."
The persimmons hung in tempting bunches within easy reach overhead, and Simon would pull them down and shower them into the widow's lap. Occasionally he would steal his arm around her waist, when she, with a coy laugh, would pronounce him an "impudent fellow." Occasionally he would raise the little brown jug and take a hearty pull; finally he stole a few kisses, the widow dropped her head resignedly on his shoulder, and so they floated down the current, loving "not wisely, but too well." On and on they floated, entirely oblivious of time, when they were suddenly startled by a wild halloo. The widow started up with a scream, and Simon grasped the oars as soon as possible. Just in front of them, seated on his horse, and with his revolver ready cocked in his hand, sat the deputy sheriff of Montgomery. "Simon Suggs," said he, "jist you git out of that thar boat and come along with me; I've got a warrant for your arrest!"
"Oh! hav yer?" said Simon, "that's all right; I'll jist take this yar lady hum, git my critter, and come in to Montgomery."
"No," said the inexorable deputy, "that won't do, jist you git out of that thar boat and come with me."
The widow now interposed, and in plaintive tone said, "But, sir, what am I to do? It will never do for me to return without Mr. Suggs; what will my niggers think of it? You, Mr. Deputy, can get into the boat with us and go to my house; while you are eating dinner I will send one of my niggers to fetch your horse."
The deputy was finally persuaded to take this course, and securing his horse, he got into the boat.
It will now be necessary to relate how the deputy happened to appear at such an inopportune moment for Simon. The planter, after awaiting the return of Simon for over two hours, was informed by the saloon keeper to whom he appealed, that he had entrusted his money to Simon Suggs, and that his chances of ever seeing it again were poor indeed. On discovering this he swore out a warrant against Simon and placed it in the hands of the sheriff to execute.
The Sheriff found that Simon had left town, and immediately his deputy, mounted on a fast horse, started in pursuit. The deputy passed Simon at the widow's, and went directly to his house. He found Mrs. Suggs at home, and demanded of her the whereabouts of Simon. Mrs. Suggs said she did not pretend to keep track of him; that he was a lazy, shiftless fellow, who never supported his family; that about a week previously he had left home, and she had not set her eyes on him since.
The deputy informed her that Simon had committed a grave offense, and that he had a warrant for his arrest.
Mrs. Suggs ended the interview by saying she always thought Simon would come to a bad end, and slammed the door in the deputy's face.
The Deputy Sheriff passed the night at a friend's, and the next morning retraced his steps, making inquiries along the road at the different plantations, endeavoring to get some trace of Simon. When he reached the widow's he was told by a slave that "Massa Simon" and the "Missus" had shortly before gone down the river for a boat ride, and taking a short cut through the fields he headed them off.
The return journey was against the current, and Simon was pulling away at the oars, the perspiration starting in large drops from his forehead and running down into his eyes, or streaking his cheeks, while the deputy was gaily entertaining the widow, who was about equally divided in her attentions. As they proceeded Simon would say, "A very deep place here;" "bar here;" "push her off a little from that snag," etc., and the deputy would occasionally supply the widow with persimmons. While in the deepest part of the stream the widow discovered a splendid bunch of persimmons hanging from a bough which reached to the centre of the river. She declared she must have them. Simon rested on his oars, while the gallant deputy got on the seat, and by raising himself on his tip toes, just managed to reach the bough, a good strong one, and, grasping it with both hands, he proceeded to bend it down so as to reach the fruit. At this inopportune moment Simon gave way to his oars, and left the poor deputy hanging in the air.
"Hold on! hold on!" yelled the deputy; "don't you know you are interfering with an officer of the law?"
"My advice ter you is to hold on yourself," was all the consolation he got from Simon, while the widow was convulsed with laughter.
Leaving the deputy to extricate himself from his awkward position as best he could, Simon rowed rapidly to the house, sent a negro to bring the deputy's horse, and after eating an enormous lunch, mounted and started for home.
The deputy hung to the limb and yelled for assistance, but no one came, and he found he could hold on no longer. He could not swim, and he felt that in dropping from the limb he would certainly meet a watery grave. All his life he had had a horror of water, and now to be drowned in the hated liquid was too hard. He made desperate efforts to climb up, on the limb, but could not do it. His arms were so strained that he thought they would be pulled from their sockets. He had strung many a negro up by the thumbs to thrash him, but he little thought he should have been strung up himself. His strength rapidly failed him, and he found he could maintain his hold no longer. Closing his eyes, he strove to pray, but could not. Finding the effort useless, he let go his hold, while a cold shudder ran through his body—what a moment of supreme agony!—and dropped into the river. Over such harrowing scenes it were better to throw a veil of silence, but I must go on. He dropped into the river, and as the water was only knee deep, he waded to the bank.
His combined emotions overcame him, and on reaching the bank he threw himself down under the shade of some trees and, completely exhausted, sunk into a deep sleep. How long he slept he could not tell, but on awaking he sprang up and hurried to the place where he had left his horse. Finding it gone, he walked into Montgomery and reported to the Sheriff, not daring to face the widow after the ridiculous tableau in which he had been the principal performer.
The Sheriff procured the services of McGibony, and the next day went with him to Simon's home, and arrested him without difficulty.
In the North, Simon would have been kept a close prisoner; but the fun-loving inhabitants of Montgomery looked on the whole transaction as a very good joke, and Simon was decidedly "in clover," having liberty to go where he wished, and being maintained at the county's expense.
I judged from the circumstances that McGibony was not to be trusted, and concluded that authorities who could execute the law so leniently, would be poor custodians for a prisoner of Maroney's stamp.
On my return trip to Chicago I stopped over at Rome, Ga., where Maroney's father lived. I discovered that the doctor lived well, although he was a man of small means. I took a general survey of the town, and then went directly to Chicago.
On arriving in Chicago I selected Mr. Green to "shadow" Mrs. Maroney. Giving him the same full instructions I had given the other operatives, I despatched him for Montgomery. He arrived there none too soon.
Mrs. Maroney had grown rather commanding in her manners, and was very arrogant with the servants in the house. She also found great fault with the proprietor, Mr. Floyd, for not having some necessary repairs in her room attended to.
One of the lady boarders, the wife of a senator, treated her with marked coolness; and these various circumstances so worked on her high-strung temperament that she was thrown into an uncontrollable fit of passion, during which she broke the windows in her room.
The landlord insisted on her paying for them, but she indignantly refused to do so. On his pressing the matter, she determined to leave the house and make a trip to the North.
Porter had become quite intimate with the slave-servants in the Exchange, and easily managed to get from them considerable information, without attracting any special attention.
One of the servants, named Tom, was the bootblack of the hotel. He had a young negro under him as a sort of an apprentice. The duties of the apprentice, though apparently slight, were in reality arduous, as he had to supply all the spittle required to moisten the blacking; and for this purpose placed himself under a course of diet that rendered him as juicy as possible.
Early in the morning Tom and his assistant would pass from door to door. Stopping wherever they saw a pair of boots, they would at once proceed to business. The helper would seize a boot and give a tremendous "hawk," which would cause the sleeping inmate of the room to start up in his bed and rub his eyes. He would then apply the blacking and hand the boot to Tom, who stood ready to artistically apply the polishing brush. During the whole of this latter operation the little negro would dance a breakdown, while Tom, seated on the chair brought for his accommodation, would whistle or sing an accompaniment. By this time the inmate of the room would have sprung from his bed, and rushed to the door, with the intention of breaking their heads—not shins—but, on opening the door, the scene presented would be so ludicrous that his anger would be smothered in laughter, and Tom generally received a quarter, as he started for the next door.
Sleep was completely vanquished by the time they had made their rounds, and the greatest sluggard who ever reiterated "God bless the man who first invented sleep," would find himself drawn from his downy pillow at break of day, with never a murmur.
Tom was naturally of an enquiring turn of mind, and as he passed from door to door saw and heard a good deal. Porter, by giving him an occasional fee, had made Tom his fast friend, and he would often regale him with bits of scandal about different boarders in the house.
On the evening of the same day that Mrs. Maroney had given way to her temper, as Porter was passing through the hall of the hotel, he heard peals of laughter emanating from the room used by Tom as his blacking headquarters. Going in, he found Tom, perfectly convulsed with laughter, rolling around amongst the blacking brushes and old shoes, while the little negro, with his mouth wide open and eyes starting almost out of his head, looked at him in utter astonishment.
"Why! what's the matter, Tom?" inquired Porter.
It was some time before Tom could answer, but he finally burst out with:
"Oh! golly, Massa Porter, you ought to see de fun. Missus 'Roney done gone and smashed all de glass in de winder. I tell you she made tings hot. Massa Floyd say she must pay for de glass, and she tole him she's not gwine to stop in dis yer house a moment longer. Yah! yah! yah! Den Massa 'Roney come, and he fly right off de handle, and tole Massa Floyd he had consulted his wife. Massa Floyd tole dem dey could go somewhere else fur all he care. Massa 'Roney tole de missus to pack up and go to de North, de fust ting in de morning. So Missus 'Roney is gwine to go North. Wonder what she'll do thar, wid no niggers to confusticate? Yah! yah! yah!"
Porter drew from the darkey full particulars of the affair, and also that he had seen Maroney pass a large sum of money over to his wife.
Giving Tom a quarter, Porter hurried off after Green, and got him ready to start the first thing in the morning. Bright and early on the twelfth of March, Porter arose, and, quite accidentally, ran across Tom, who had just come down with Mrs. Maroney's shoes.
"She is gwine, sure," said Tom! "she tole me to hurry up wid dese shoes. Her and Massa 'Roney am habin a big confab, but dey talk so low, dis nigger can't hear a word dey say."
Porter hurried Green to the train, and came back in time to see Maroney get into a carriage, with his wife and her daughter Flora, and drive off toward the station. Maroney secured for them a comfortable seat in the ladies' car, and, bidding them good-bye, returned to the hotel.
Of course Green was on the same train, but, as I had instructed him, not in the same car. He took a seat in the rear end of the car immediately in front of the ladies' car, whence he could keep a sharp lookout on all that went on.
Mrs. Maroney went directly to West Point, and from there to Charleston, where she put up at the best hotel, registering "Mrs. Maroney and daughter."
The next day, leaving Flora in the hotel, she made a few calls, and at two P. M. embarked on the steamer for New York, Green doing the same. They arrived at New York on the eighteenth and were met at the wharf by a gentleman named Moore, who conducted Mrs. Maroney and Flora to his residence. Green discovered afterwards that the gentleman was a partner in one of the heaviest wholesale clothing-houses in the city.
He knew nothing further about Mr. or Mrs. Maroney than that Maroney had treated him with a good deal of consideration at one time when he was in Montgomery selling goods, and he had then requested Maroney and his wife to stop at his house if they ever came to New York. Accordingly Maroney telegraphed to him when his wife left Montgomery, informing him how and when she would reach New York, and he was at the wharf to meet her.
Mrs. Maroney and Flora were cordially welcomed by Mr. Moore and remained at his house for some weeks. They were very hospitably entertained and seemed to devote their whole time to social pleasures. Green shadowed them closely and found that nothing of any importance was going on.
Porter remained in Montgomery, keeping in the good graces of Maroney and his friends, not that Maroney easily took any one into his confidence; on the contrary, although he was social with every one, he kept his affairs closely to himself.
Porter never forced himself on Maroney's company, but merely dropped in, apparently by accident, at Patterson's and other saloons frequented by Maroney, and by holding himself rather aloof, managed to draw Maroney towards him.
Maroney used to walk out of town towards the plantations, and Porter, by making himself acquainted with the planters and overseers of the surrounding country, discovered that Maroney's walks were caused by a young lady, the daughter of a wealthy planter; but no new developments were made in regard to the robbery.
I instructed Porter to "get in" with any slaves who might be employed as waiters at Patterson's, and worm from them all the information possible in regard to the habitues of the place.
There were several men with whom Maroney used to have private meetings at the saloon, and Porter learned from one of the negroes what took place at them. Maroney would take an occasional hand at euchre, but never played for large stakes. There was little doubt but that he had a share in the gambling bank. He frequented the stable where "Yankee Mary" was kept, and often himself drove her out. From the way the parties at Patterson's talked, the negro was positive that she belonged to Maroney.
He received several letters from his wife, which Green saw her post, and Porter found he received in due time. So far all my plans had worked well. The regular reports I received from my detectives showed that they were doing their duty and watching carefully all that occurred. Porter, about this time, learned that Maroney intended to make a business trip through Tennessee, and that he would, in all probability, go to Augusta, Ga., and New Orleans.
Everything tended to show that he was about to leave Montgomery, and I put Roch, my Dutchman, on the alert. I wrote out full instructions and sent them to Roch; ordered him to keep a strict watch on Maroney, as he might be going away to change the money, and told him to telegraph me immediately if anything happened. It was my intention to buy any money he might get changed, as the bankers in Montgomery stated that they would be able to identify some of the stolen bills. I warned Roch against coming in contact with Maroney on his journey, as I surmised that he was going away to see if he would be followed. This was certainly his intention.
For some time I had feared that Maroney had some idea of Porter's reasons for stopping in Montgomery, and felt that if he had, he would be completely disabused of it by discovering that Porter did not follow him. He was an uncommonly shrewd man and had formed a pretty good opinion of detectives and of his ability to outwit them.
He had seen the best detectives from New York, New Orleans and other places completely baffled. He expected to be followed by a gentlemanly appearing man, who would drink and smoke occasionally, wear a heavy gold watch chain, and have plenty of money to spend; but the idea of being followed by a poor old Dutchman never entered his head.
I charged Roch not to pay any attention to Maroney or to appear to do so until he started to leave Montgomery, and concluded by saying that I felt I could trust him to do all in his power for the agency and for my honor.
Maroney made his preparations for departure, all his movements being closely watched by Porter.
On the fifth of April Maroney, having completed his preparations, started by the first train for Atlanta, via West Point. The day was a very warm one, but Maroney was accompanied to the station by a great number of friends. With many a hearty shake of the hand they bade him farewell, some of them accompanying him to the first, and some even to the second station beyond Montgomery. No one could have started on a journey under more favorable auspices.
Before the train started a German might have been seen slowly wending his way to the depot. He had no slaves to follow, or wait upon him. No one knew him, and the poor fellow had not a friend to bid him good-bye. He went to the ticket office, and in broken English said: "I vants a teeket for Vest Point;" and stood puffing at his pipe until the clerk gave him his ticket, for which he paid, and took his seat in a car called, in the South, the "nigger car." He had a rather large satchel, and it must be confessed he was decidedly dirty, as he had been toiling along a dusty road, under the hot Southern sun.
In about ten minutes after, Maroney arrived, with his numerous friends, stepped on board, and the train slowly drew out of the station.
The German had taken a reversed seat in the rear of his car, and, apparently indifferent to the lively conversation of the negroes around him, slowly smoked his pipe. Maroney took a seat in the ladies' car, talked with his friends, among whom were several ladies, and then had a merry romp with a child. In about three-quarters of an hour he rose, and, walking to the front of the car, scrutinized the faces of all the passengers carefully. Our Dutchman gazed carelessly at him through the window of the car in which he sat. Maroney passed through the "nigger car," not thinking it worth while to take notice of its inmates, and looking on the poor immigrant as no better than a negro. Then he went into the express car, shook hands with the messenger, chatted with him a moment, and passed on to the baggage car. At the first station he stepped off, met several friends, and was well received by all. The conductor collected no fare from him, as he had been a conductor at one time, and that chalked his hat "O. K."
He left the train at every station, looked keenly around with an eye that showed plainly that he was fighting for liberty itself, and then returning, passed through it, carefully examining the faces of the passengers. By the time they reached West Point he had regained his old firmness—at least the German thought so.
If any one had watched, they might have seen the German go to the ticket office in West Point and, in broken language, inquire for a ticket to Atlanta. Having procured his ticket, he went immediately to the second-class car and continued his journey with Maroney.
At West Point Maroney met several friends, who all sympathized with him. After drinking with them he went to the train and into the express car, although it is strict rule of the company that no one but the messenger shall be allowed in it. The rule is often broken, especially in the South, where the polite messengers dislike to ask a gentleman to leave their car. The German took in all that was going on, but who cared for him? poor, stupid dolt! Maroney remained in the express car a short time, and then again passed through the train, but discovered nothing to cause him the slightest uneasiness.
On arriving at Atlanta he proceeded to the Atlanta House, and was given a room. The German arrived at the hotel soon after him, and throwing down his satchel, asked, in his broken English, for a room. The clerk scarcely deigning to notice him, sent him to the poorest room the house afforded.
Roch, finding that no train left until morning, amused himself with another smoke, at the same time noticing that Maroney was well received by the clerk, whom he knew, and by all the conductors and gentlemen who frequented the hotel. His journey had been almost an entire ovation, and he had become almost completely self-possessed.
At eleven he retired for the night. Roch, after waiting for some time, walked noiselessly down the hall to Maroney's room, and listened at the door. Finding all quiet, he walked down to the office, got the key to his room, and went to bed.
He got up early in the morning and, with Maroney, took an early breakfast. He kept a close watch on him, and learned from the conversation of some of Maroney's friends, to whom he had divulged his plans, where he was going, and by what route he intended to pursue his journey. He said that he should be gone some five weeks, but would return to Montgomery in time to prepare for his trial.
Some of his friends alluded to his arrest for the robbery. He smiled, and said they would soon find that he was not the guilty party; and moreover, that the Express Company would find that it would cost them a good deal before they got through with him, as, after his acquittal, he would certainly sue them for heavy damages. He knew the wealth of the company, and that they would "leave no stone unturned" to ruin him, but he had no fears as to the result, when the facts were laid before a jury of his countrymen.
He had many acquaintances at Atlanta, and gave himself up to enjoyment. Roch wrote to me that if he had started out with the expectation of being followed, he had no such fears now. In the evening Maroney complained to the clerk about his room, and Roch became uneasy when he found he had moved to another part of the house. He feared that Maroney might leave town by some private conveyance, and so kept a close watch on his movements. He staid up until a late hour, but finding that Maroney was safe in bed, finally retired. At a very early hour in the morning he was stirring and patiently waited for Maroney to get up. Maroney soon came down, apparently in the best of spirits, and ordered his trunk, a very large one, to be taken to the depot. Roch was seized with a desire to go through this trunk, and determined to do so if he possibly could. He had not seen it at Montgomery as it came down with the other baggage, and one of Maroney's friends had had it checked and handed the check to him when on the train. His desire was useless, as he was not destined to see the inside of the trunk, at least not for the present. He wrote to me of Maroney's having the trunk, and said I might rely on his examining it if he possibly could.
Maroney took the train for Chattanooga, still paying no fare. Roch bought a second class ticket and they were soon under way. When about one hour out from Atlanta Maroney passed through the train eyeing all the well-dressed men on board, of whom there were a great many, but paying no attention to the inmates of the "nigger car." He saw no cause for uneasiness, and soon became the happiest man on board. He passed through the cars several times before the train reached Chattanooga, and his spirits seemed to rise after each inspection. When they arrived at Chattanooga. Maroney put up at the Crutchfield House, and being very tired did not go out that evening. He seemed well acquainted with the clerk and some of the guests, drank several times with his friends, and went to his room quite early. Roch wrote to me from the Crutchfield House, where he had also put up, giving me a detailed account of all that had happened, and in a postscript said "Maroney has not the slightest idea that he is being followed, and all is serene." In the morning Maroney sauntered around the city, apparently with no particular object in view, but dropping into some of the stores to visit his friends. Finally he went into a lawyer's office where he remained some time. Roch took up a position where he could watch the office without being observed. At last Maroney came out of the office with a gentleman, went into a saloon with him, where they drank together, and then returned to the hotel to dinner. After dinner he smoked until about two o'clock, and then walked out and started up the main street of the town, towards the suburbs. The day was intensely warm, and there were few people stirring in the streets. When Maroney reached the suburbs he stopped and looked suspiciously around. He took no notice of the German, who was walking along wrapped up in his pipe, his only consolation. Being satisfied that no one was following him, he turned around the corner and suddenly disappeared.
When Roch got to the corner he could not see Maroney in any direction. There were blocks of fine houses on both sides of the street, and he was certain Maroney was in one of them. But which one? That he could not tell. He did not like to leave the neighborhood, but it would not do to stay. There were few persons on the street, and if he lingered around the corner he would surely be noticed and suspected. He walked very slowly around the square, but discovering nothing, and fearing that he might alarm the quiet neighborhood, he went back to the hotel. He was now at the end of his rope. He was certain Maroney was in one of the houses, and feared that he was getting the money changed. He might have brought it with him, concealed it on his person, and taken it with him to the house he was now in. Terribly disappointed, he sat down and wrote to me for instructions, thinking that my letter in reply would most likely reach him in Chattanooga. At dusk he went out to the suburbs, but did not find a trace of Maroney. Returning to the hotel, he found that no train left till morning, and weary and worn he went to his room, and in a most despondent mood, soon retired. Early in the morning he came down but there was no sign of Maroney. He determined to peep into his room, and fortunately managed to do so without being discovered, finding his trunk and a bundle of soiled linen still there. Somewhat reassured, he took his breakfast and went down to see the train off. The train started, but Maroney not putting in an appearance, Roch began to feel that he must have been outwitted. As he retraced his steps to the hotel he was astonished to see Maroney on his way to the same place. Roch having once more got his eye on him, determined, if possible, to find out where he had passed the previous night. He thought the matter over, and concluded that for many reasons it would be best to change his boarding place. The people at the hotel did not think much of a poor German, and might conclude he could not pay his bill, and as he did not wish to guarantee payment, he went to his room, brought down his satchel, and going to the office, paid his bill. He had seen a German boarding-house down the street, so taking his satchel in his hand, he went in and enquired if they had a room to spare. He found they had, and on glancing around discovered that the change in many respects was for the better, as from the boarding-house he had a clear view of all that occurred in front of the hotel.
He did not see Maroney again until evening, when he came out, looking fresh and bright, having evidently refreshed himself by a bath and a shave.
Maroney went into a saloon, talked to several parties, strolled leisurely around, returned to the hotel, passed the evening till ten o'clock with a party of gentlemen, and then retired.
Roch rose early, and found that the landlord, who, like most of his countrymen, possessed the good habit of being an early riser, had breakfast ready. After breakfast he took a seat on the verandah, and watched Maroney as he loitered around. At two in the afternoon Maroney sauntered out, and started in the direction of the suburbs.
Roch concluded he was going to the place where he had lost him the day before, and now he had the coveted opportunity of finding his hiding place.
Walking slowly after him, smoking his pipe and gaping around, until he reached a cross-street, a block from where Maroney had disappeared before, he turned down this street, walked rapidly until he reached the next street running parallel to the one Maroney was on, and turning up it he ran to the corner above, where he got behind the fence, as if urged by a pressing necessity. From his position he could see down the street without being seen.
In a moment Maroney reached the corner, a block from him. Looking around, as before, he pulled his hat over his eyes, and, walking rapidly part way down the block, he entered a comfortable looking frame-building. It was painted a creamy white, and its windows were protected by the greenest of green blinds.
Roch walked around for some time, and then returned to his boarding-house. Finding no one but the landlord and the bar-keeper in the saloon, he bought a bottle of wine, and asked them to join him in drinking it. They gladly consented, and he entered into a conversation with them, in which he pretended to give them a history of his life, and his plans for the future.
He complimented the city very highly, saying that he was so much pleased with it that he had determined to buy some property there. He then informed them that he had been looking at some houses, and wished to get the landlord's opinion of them. He—the landlord—had been in the city for many years, and must be well acquainted with the value of property.
Roch now called for another bottle of wine, and proceeded to describe some of the houses at which he had been looking. He described several, but one in particular, he said, had taken his fancy; and he then described the house Maroney had entered, saying further that he thought there were several ladies there.
The landlord looked at his bar-keeper and winked, and then giving Roch a poke in the ribs, said, with a hearty laugh: "Oh! you have found them out, have you?" Then, with another poke: "You're a sly fellow, you are," and burst into a roar of laughter, in which he was heartily joined by the bar-keeper.
Roch pretended not to comprehend what they meant, and turned the conversation to other subjects. He felt very happy when he discovered the character—or rather want of character—of the house, as he now knew the business Maroney was engaged in.
Maroney did not make his appearance up to the time the train left, so Roch retired.
Early in the morning he arose, ate his breakfast, and was surprised to see Maroney, who must have returned in the night, just coming out of the hotel. Seeing Maroney's trunk just being placed on the baggage wagon, he hastily paid his bill at the boarding-house, and managed to reach the station some time in advance of Maroney.
In about half an hour Maroney came up and bought a first-class ticket for Nashville. Roch bought a second-class ticket to the same place, and took up his old position in the "nigger car."
Nothing of importance happened between Chattanooga and Nashville.
At Nashville Maroney put up at the City Hotel, while Roch obtained lodgings at a German saloon just around the corner.
Maroney met plenty of friends, who received him warmly. He amused himself by going to the livery stables, looking at the horses, and driving around the city. He met a gentleman and passed a good deal of time with him, but had no business transactions with him; merely using him as a companion to help kill time. The weather was all that could be desired, and Maroney was "gay as a lark."
The second day after his arrival in Nashville, he went into a jeweler's, and remained over three-quarters of an hour: came out, and at the end of three hours again went in, this time stopping over an hour. When he came out Roch discovered that he had a parcel in his hand, and concluded that he had made a purchase. He at once reported the incident to me.
The third day, at train time, the trunk was again brought down. Roch went to the depot, wondering what could be the meaning of this move, as the train about to start would take them back to Chattanooga.
His suspense was soon put at rest, by Maroney's coming down and buying a ticket to Chattanooga. Roch followed suit, and they were soon on their backward track.
Maroney passed through the cars, scrutinizing the passengers, neglecting those in the "nigger car," as heretofore, which was the only incident of the trip to Chattanooga.
Here he again put up at the Crutchfield House, while Roch went back to his German boarding-house. He made some excuses to account for his sudden return, but they were unnecessary, for, so long as he paid his bill regularly, the landlord was perfectly satisfied.
The next morning Maroney visited a livery stable owned by a man named Cook, who was a great favorite. He was said to have a horse which could out-trot anything in the city. Cook and Maroney drove out several times with this horse, and Maroney examined him critically. He was a good judge of horseflesh, and when he was excited would fairly carry a person away with his vivid description of the delights of "tooling" along behind a fast horse.
Roch could not certainly tell whether Maroney had bought the horse or not, but judged he had, as he heard Cook tell Maroney that he should expect to see him on his return to Chattanooga.
After leaving Cook, Maroney sauntered out to see his fair, but frail friends. Roch left him there and returned to have a good time with his countrymen. He had ordered up a bottle of wine, and the landlord and he were just about to have a game of euchre when he accidentally glanced up at the hotel.
It was fortunate he did so, as whom should he see going in at the main entrance but Maroney. He hastily excused himself from the game and walked out. He had gone hardly a block from his boarding-house before Maroney came down and got into a carriage. He had gone at once to his room, ordered his trunk down, paid his bill and was now being hurried to the depot.
Roch followed as fast as he could. Maroney had allowed himself barely enough time to check his trunk and step upon the train as it moved off, so that Roch had to start without his satchel and without buying a ticket. He did not think much of the loss of his baggage, that little loss being more than compensated by the joy he felt at not having lost his man.
He had not the slightest idea where Maroney was going, but took up his old position in the "nigger car" and watched closely. When the conductor came around to Maroney, Roch noticed two things: first, that Maroney bought a through ticket to Memphis; and second, that the conductor did not know him. Wherever he had gone before, he had met friends, but now he had left them all behind. Roch followed Maroney's lead and bought a second class ticket to Memphis.
Maroney, though utterly unconscious of the fact, was as much in the power of Roch as was Sindbad the Sailor in the power of the little old man who clung to his neck with a grasp that could not be loosened. Although, literally, Roch did not touch him, figuratively he held him with a grasp of iron, and all Maroney's efforts to shake him off would have proved waste of time and strength.
A storm was impending when they left Chattanooga and it had now burst upon them in a perfect fury. Night had set in, but flash after flash of lightning lit up the sky. One moment, objects were rendered distinctly visible as they dashed by, the next they were lost in gloom. The sparks from the locomotive were quenched in the falling torrent and the roar of the train was silenced by the loud peals of thunder.
It was a wild night, but Roch got on the platform to make sure of Maroney. There were no sleeping-cars at the time and he had no trouble in getting a good view of him. Maroney was stretched out on his seat fast asleep. He watched him for some time, and then concluding that there was little danger of his attempting to leave the car on such a night, he went back to his seat in the "nigger car."
Ever since he had left Montgomery, Maroney had been executing a series of strategic movements, and now that he had undoubtedly thrown his pursuers, if there were any, off his track, why should he not ease his overwrought mind by sleep, that sweetest of all consolers?
The next morning they arrived in Memphis. The storm had passed away, but had left mementoes in the fresh and balmy air and in the muddy streets. Maroney stopped at the Gayosa House. Roch found it an easy matter to move his baggage, and walked off with his hands in his pockets, wondering where he could get a clean shirt. He put up at a saloon where he could keep an eye on Maroney, and having bought some new shirts and a second-hand satchel, he felt once more that he was a respectable man.
From Memphis Roch wrote to me, informing me "that all was well; that Maroney seemed perfectly at ease and confident that if any one had followed him, he had, by his retrograde movement, thrown him entirely off the scent." He had not the slightest idea what would be Maroney's next move, but was certain he could keep track of him.
Maroney appeared familiar with Memphis, but had no friends there, and amused himself loitering around, occasionally going into a saloon. The second day of his stay Roch observed him write and post a letter. Then he visited the livery stables, admired some of the fine horses and afterwards strolled down to the wharf, where the steamer "John Walsh" was being loaded with cotton and tobacco. He went on board and looked over the Walsh, saw the clerk and entered into conversation with him. Roch heard the clerk say that the steamer would leave in about two hours, and concluded that Maroney was going down the river on her.
Maroney returned to the Gayosa House and paid his bill, which caused Roch to hurry to his boarding-house, pay his bill, and with his newly acquired treasure, the old satchel, hasten to the river and take a steerage passage to New Orleans on the John Walsh. He was a little afraid that Maroney might begin to notice him and found it necessary to use the utmost caution. Before embarking on the Walsh he laid in a stock of "bolognas," a few pounds of the rankest "Sweitzer kase" and an abundance of "pretzels."
Coming down to the boat some time before Maroney, he filled his pipe and took a seat where he could watch all that went on. After some time Maroney drove up in a carriage, had his trunk carried up to his state-room, and, lighting his cigar, took a seat and watched the movements of the crew who were employed in taking on the cargo. It was a busy scene: the negroes toiled along under the burning sun, lightening their labors with a merry boatman's song. Their burdens were heavy, but their hearts were light.
Maroney, instead of looking down on them with the contempt he did, should have longed for their content and happiness. The meanest of them possessed what he never could possess—"a contented mind."
In less than half an hour the steamer's bell was rung, friends hurriedly bade each other good-bye, the gang-planks were hauled in, and the John Walsh was soon snorting down the river. The decks and cabins of the Walsh were crowded with passengers; ladies handsomely dressed, planters going to New Orleans on business or pleasure; tourists making a trip down the Mississippi for the first time, and being charmed with the variety of the scenes around them: all was life, gaiety and animation.
Although Maroney would have generally mingled with the passengers, "the gayest of the gay," he now kept entirely aloof from them. He was oppressed by the "weight of his secret," and sought "by solitary musings" to ease his mind. He read a little, glanced at the scenery along the river, landed and walked around at the different places where the steamer stopped, but kept entirely to himself.
Nothing occurred worthy of note until they arrived at Natchez, but here Roch was much amazed to see Maroney's trunk being put on the wharf-boat. He knew it was the custom of the managers of the wharf-boats to allow baggage to be left on the wharf, and to collect a small sum for storage; so he took his satchel and placed it near Maroney's trunk.
He left the boat just in time to see Maroney take the only carriage that happened to be at the river when the steamer arrived, and drive rapidly up the hill. He knew that he could get plenty of carriages in a few minutes, but by that time where would Maroney be? His only sure method was to follow him at once, and trust to finding a conveyance on the hill. He followed as fast as he could, and just as he got to the top of the hill was fortunate enough to meet a negro driving an express wagon. He immediately struck a bargain with him to drive him around town for a dollar an hour.
Roch, in his excitement had dropped his German accent, and spoke uncommonly good English for an immigrant; but the negro, being a very good talker himself, did not remark it. By Roch's direction the driver followed on straight up the street in the same direction Maroney had taken.
Maroney got out of the carriage and went into a store.
It would not do for Roch to wait on the express wagon for Maroney's reappearance. He, therefore, instructed his driver to await his return, and stepped into a store, from which, while he was examining some goods, he could also keep an eye on Maroney's carriage.
What Maroney was doing in the store, was a problem which Roch would have liked to solve.
In about fifteen minutes Maroney came out, and appearing familiar with the town, directed his driver where to take him. He was driven to a comfortable looking house; the negro driver saying something to him, and motioning toward it. Maroney answered, and the hackman drove away, while Maroney went into the house.
Roch was now at a loss what steps to take. The hack driver had not been paid, and in all probability would return for Maroney. If he watched the house, he might be discovered from behind the blinds; so he determined to keep his eye on the hack driver. The hackman drove leisurely down to a saloon, fastened his horses, and went in. Roch opened conversation with his driver, and found that he was a slave, but that he had got permission from his master to hire himself out, for which privilege he paid one hundred dollars a month. After working for some time he had been enabled to purchase the horse and wagon he drove, and as he was making money, hoped in a few years to have enough to purchase his own freedom. Roch concluded he could gain from him some information as to Maroney's driver, so he carelessly asked him if the hack driver was also hired out.
"Yes, sah, him ib my cousin," said Sambo.
Roch supposed the negro must have had his quasi freedom, from seeing him go into a saloon, as the planters never allow their slaves to go into drinking-places; not because they think it immoral, but because the slaves would most likely become unfit for work.
Roch asked the negro if he knew where they kept good brandy.
"Golly, ib you want good licker, dis yer sloon is de place to find it!"
"Drive up, and we will sample some of it," ordered Roch.
Sambo willingly obeyed, and they went into the saloon. Roch again assumed his German accent. The two negroes at once recognized each other, and Roch, in his broken way, said:
"Vel, poys, vat vill you haf?"
The niggers grinned from ear to ear, and replied:
"De same ab you, boss."
"Barkeeper, you haf any lager got? Nein? Och, mine Got, dis ish von h—l of a blace! Notting put prandy und vhisky! I pelieves I vill go by Yarmany the steamer next. Vell, give us dree prandys! Trink hearty, poys. Mine frient," continued he, turning to the hackman, "your peesness ish goot? No?"
"Yes, sah! I always dribes the gemmen what comes on de steamer. Ya, ha! Dey nearly all goes to de same place. Dis mornin' a gemmen come on de steamer, an' say, 'Here, you nigga, dribe me as fas' as you can to Mudder Bink's.' I'se yer man, says I; an' golly, didn't I make dose hosses trabel! I was gwine like de debil when he stop me, an' went to de store. Den I took him to Madam's, and he say, 'Here, Sambo, you jus' go down town, an' come fur me in two hours;' an' I's gwine back, an' if dis yer nigga don't get a fiver for his trouble, den dis court don't know itself!"
"Mudder Beenk's?" exclaimed Roch. "Who vas das?"
"Yah, yah, yah," roared both the darkies. "You don' know Mudder Binks! Why, she keeps de finest gals on all de ribber."
Roch was happy when he heard this, as he was now positive that Maroney was not taking any action to cover up the robbery; so he settled with the expressman, and returned to the wharf-boat to look after Maroney's trunk. He saw that the trunk was still where it had been left, and on going on board of the steamer, found that most of the passengers had taken advantage of their long stay, and were visiting in the town. Roch took a seat on the wharf-boat, near the office. He puffed away at his pipe for some time, staring vacantly around, when he heard a carriage rattling down the hill. In a moment it stopped, and looking up Roch saw Maroney almost leaning over him and conversing with a gentleman in the office.
"Are you the agent of Jones's Express?" he asked.
"Yes," replied the gentleman.
"I thought your office was up the hill. Have you received a package for ————?" (Roch did not catch the name.)
The gentleman looked over his book, and said:
"No, nothing; but it may have been detained in the New Orleans office."
This was the substance of the conversation.
Maroney went into the office and remained some five minutes, then came out, and seemed debating some subject in his mind.
The first bell of the Walsh was rung. He hurriedly ordered his trunk on board, and embarked, closely followed by Roch, "mit his satchel." They proceeded quietly on their journey until they reached New Orleans, where Maroney secured a hack and was driven to the City Hotel. He passed the day walking around, lost in thought, and studying some subject deeply.
During the day Roch concluded that Maroney was going to make a decided move. But what would it be? He had no one to advise him; none from whom he could seek counsel, and he was at a loss what to do.
In this strait he telegraphed to me, in Chicago, detailing his predicament, and asking instructions. He was much surprised at receiving an answer from Philadelphia, where I then was. I telegraphed him in cipher, congratulating him on his success so far, and told him not to mind the loss of his baggage; but to change his disguise, and rig himself up as a dashing Southerner. Accordingly, the first thing in the morning, he took a bath, had had his face clean shaven, and, going to the clothing and other furnishing stores, soon procured a fashionable outfit.
When he was dressed in his new clothes, what a metamorphosis had he made, from the clod-hopping Dutchman to the gay, genteel and courteous citizen! I telegraphed to him that I thought success was almost in his grasp, and to keep a constant lookout.
He took a room in the City Hotel, and was very much pleased, on coming into the breakfast room, to find Maroney there. He had to look twice before he was certain of his man, as Maroney had also changed his appearance. He had donned a suit of city clothes, had changed the cut of his whiskers, had had his hair cut short, and had altered his entire appearance. Now commenced the chase in earnest.
Maroney walked around the hotel, with his hands in his pockets, occasionally glancing out of the window. Finally he went out on the street and walked rapidly around. He would walk hurriedly up one street, cut across, and come down another, and then pass to the point from which he started, always retracing his steps, and doubling on his track.
The thought at once flashed through Roch's mind that he was endeavoring to discover if he was followed; and, seeing through his movements, Roch took up his position at the base of operations, and, as Maroney started up one street, he waited quietly on the corner, and always found that Maroney would come around past him in a short time. Maroney spent the whole morning at these manoeuvres, trying to discover if he was followed, Roch having much the advantage of him, in being able to keep watch of him by walking only a fourth of the distance.
I kept the telegraph working, and Roch would take advantage of Maroney's doublings on his track, to rush to the telegraph office, send a despatch to me, and, in a short time, rush back for the answer. I informed him that I did not believe that Maroney had any suspicions of him, but was keeping a sharp lookout for any of the employes of the Adams Express Company who might know him, and who were numerous in New Orleans. He knew the New Orleans detectives who had been employed on the ten thousand dollar robbery, and had everything to fear from them. He might run across the General Superintendent of the Southern Division at any moment, and wished to avoid him if possible.
I impressed on Roch the necessity of the strictest watch. I must confess that I felt feverish and excited at having Roch all by himself watching the movements of Maroney, in a place of the size of New Orleans, and if it had been possible I should have placed more men around him; but that was now out of the question, and all I could do was to rely on Roch. I communicated all the facts, as I received them, to the Vice-President, who was with me.
In the afternoon Maroney strolled down the street and turned into the Adams Express office. Roch knew no one in the office, and, as this last move of Maroney's greatly puzzled him, he telegraphed to me for instructions. I consulted with the Vice-President, and replied: "Trust no one. Rely on yourself alone." Roch got the answer in about an hour, during which time Maroney remained in the Express office.
On leaving the Express office, he went to a daguerrean gallery, remained some time, and then went to the hotel. On Saturday Maroney again went to the daguerrean gallery and received a package, which Roch supposed contained his pictures. He telegraphed me to this effect, and, on a moment's consideration of the incident, I ordered him to procure a copy of the picture from the gallery if he possibly could. From the gallery Maroney proceeded to the amphitheatre of Spaulding & Rogers, on St. Charles street, and Roch, feeling certain that he would remain at least an hour, went to the telegraph office, sent the above despatch, and as soon as he received the answer, went directly to the daguerrean gallery.